In October 2016, a 50-year-old man was severely injured while riding his bicycle in Seattle, according to the Seattle Pi.  He suffered life-threatening injuries in what was described by the Seattle Fire Department as a “bike/car accident.”

It appears the bicyclist and driver collided on Elliott Avenue south of the Magnolia Bridge. The crash blocked traffic in both directions. The injured bicyclist was rushed to Harborview Medical Center for medical treatment.

The man’s current condition is not known. The article did not indicate whether police were investigating the accident or if the bicyclist planned to sue the driver. Many bicyclists injured by motorists can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover their accident-related damages.

Damages generally sought in a bicycle accident include:

  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering

Obtaining Damages in a Seattle Bicycle Accident Case Depends on the Motorist being at Fault

To successfully obtain damages, a plaintiff must prove to the court the motorist was negligent during the accident. Negligence, also called fault, refers to a person failing to avoid causing an innocent individual harm why they completed a task. For example, Washington State has as an implied legal duty for anyone operating a motor vehicle or bicycle in the state.

This legal duty makes both of them responsible for obeying traffic laws and traveling from one place to another without injuring anyone. If they cause an accident while operating a motor vehicle or bicycle, they may be considered negligent. If that accident causes injuries, they may be liable to pay for damages.

Certain actions can may a motorist negligent in a bicycle accident like:

  • A motorist turning directly in front of the bicyclist
  • A motorist failing to yield to the bicyclist at an intersection
  • A motorist operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
  • A motorist being distracting while operating a motor vehicle and hitting a bicyclist

A bicyclist suing for damages has the responsibility of showing how the motorist was negligent and caused their injuries. For instance, they must show the court the motorist had a legal duty to protect them from harm.

They next have to prove the motorist breached their legal duty. One example of breaching legal duty was failing to yield to the bicyclist in a Seattle intersection and caused the bicycle accident. Once their breach of legal duty is established, a bicyclist must connect their injury to the motorist’s breach of duty. For example, the bicyclist would show that if it was not for the motorist’s causing the accident, they would not be injured.

After establishing legal duty, breach of legal duty and injury caused by the accident, a bicyclist can show damages. Damages depends on type of injury like:

  • Head injury
  • Torn ligaments
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Road rash

Contact Gosanko & O’Halloran for Help with Your Seattle Bicycle Case

Your choice of transportation was your bicycle. We understand that riding a bicycle is more than a form of transportation, it is a safe and environmentally friendly way to travel. You did not deserve to be injured. Let us help you recover your damages. Contact us today.